The total exports of the country decreased further by 13.81 per cent to $8.541 billion during the first five months (July-Nov) of 2015-16 exports stood at $9.909 billion during the same period last year.
The exports are declining because of the poor policies of federal government and Ministry of Trade and Commerce as the government has not even announced the trade policy during the last five months, analysts at a number of brokerage houses said. They said that the Ministry of Trade had to announce the auto policy and promise incentives to the textile sector, which the business community was waiting for.
On year-on-year basis, the country’s exports declined by over 15.12 per cent and stood at $1.662 billion in Nov 2015 compared to $1.958 billion in Nov 2014, Pakistan Bureau of Statistics data revealed on Thursday. On month on month basis, the exports declined by 3.88 per cent in Nov 2015 compared to $1.729 billion in Oct 2015.
Businessmen said that the government had released some of the long-stuck sales tax refund amount of exporters with the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), which supported the declining exports. PSMA Chairman Iskender Khan said that the government had released export refunds of sugar mills owners in Sindh and Punjab in November.
KCCI’s officials also believed that exports were slightly better compared with previous months as the government released the sales tax refunds to the exporters.
The officials also said that a major cause of decline in exports was the energy shortages, especially in Punjab. But the most important issue, according to an exporter, was indifference of the government towards the problems faced by businesses.
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and other international donors’ research reports claim that Pakistan’s economy has improved in last few months compared to previous years. Economists and government quarters are forecasting GDP growth of above 4.5 per cent in 2016 and 4.8 per cent in 2017.
Meanwhile, country’s imports fell by 9.03 per cent to $18.477 billion during July-Nov this year from $20.311 billion in the same period last year.
On a month-on-month basis, imports declined by 0.23 per cent in Nov 2015. The import was recorded at $3.917 billion in Nov 2015, which stood at $3.926 billion in October 2015. On year on year basis, the imports in the country increased 8.87 per cent and stood at $3.917 billion in Nov 2015 compared to $3.598 billion in November 2014.
The trade deficit in July-Nov 2015-16 declined by 4.48 per cent to $9.936 billion from $10.402 billion in the same period last year. In Nov 2015, trade deficit was 37.50 per cent month-on-month, due to drop in imports and exports.